by Arthur Miller
When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
The Crucible is filled with historical figures—Deputy Governor Danforth, John and Elizabeth Proctor, the Reverends Parris and Hale, Abigail Williams, Rebecca Nurse, etc.—but Arthur Miller took creative liberties to create a fictional story based on historical events.
We don’t know, for example, why the real-life Abigail Williams accused Elizabeth but not John Proctor of witchcraft. Miller has used his imagination to explain one possibility, but in doing so he had to change certain facts—such as raising Abigail’s age from eleven to seventeen years old. While the names refer to real historical people, The Crucible itself is fiction.